What are Tennessee Property Records?
Tennessee property records are documents that contain information about property ownership, such as titles and deeds. These records typically contain information regarding the deed holder, financial details such as purchase price, and any liens or encumbrances on the property. In Tennessee, each county's Register of Deeds office holds these records and is responsible for maintaining them. According to the provisions of the Tennessee Open Records Act, these offices are required to provide public property record information to interested members of the public. Hence, the County Register of Deeds offices can provide individuals access to various documents, including deeds, mortgages, liens, and other related records. However, inquirers must provide the necessary documentation to obtain copies of the records from these custodian offices or repositories. Property records are essential for various reasons, such as proving ownership and transferring property.
Are Tennessee Property Records Public?
According to the Tennessee code annotated in Section 10-7-504, Tennessee property records can be assessed by state residents. Anyone seeking information on a particular property has every right to obtain those records from the court except if the property has been banned from inspection.
Tennessee property records are available for public viewing through government agencies or third-party aggregate websites. Accessing property records through third-party sites is typically straightforward, and the records are not geographically limited. However, because the sites are not government-affiliated and run independently, the information contained in the records may vary. Searching parties should include the following details to obtain complete property records:
- The property's exact location.
- The property owner's details.
What Information is Included in Tennessee Property Records
These records provide critical data about properties. Some of these are; Tax history, Mortgage, Liens, Deeds, and other information, which include the grantor and grantee details (Mailing address, title, etc.), transaction history, parcel number, present and past owners, property value, and structure of the property.
- Tax History: Property taxes are usually paid by the property owner, and the tax to be paid depends on the property's value. Tax value for any property is obtained by multiplying the current value of the property by the fixed tax rate. Tax is used to establish property ownership.
- Mortgage: This is a legal agreement of transfer of property ownership between the original owner and another party, which could be an individual or organization (banks). This is done when the owner (borrower) uses his property as collateral to the lender. The property can only be re-transferred back to the owner after repayment is confirmed within a certain period.
- Liens: This is a legal right placed on a property that makes the property accessible to the lender if debts are not paid within the required period of time.
- Plat: This map indicates the boundaries between a land property and others. A plat usually consists of a structure of the property size.
- Deeds: This legal claim proves that a person is the real and legit owner of a property. A deed is a signed and sealed document confirming a property owner's right over his property. Several types of deeds include Quitclaim, General warranty, special warranty, Grant deed, and deed of trust.
i. Quit claim deed: This is simply the transfer of property title from one party to another. A quit claim deed contains details of both the person who is transferring and receiving (grantor and grantee) and the date and signature of both parties. A quit claim is used to transfer property ownership in most scenarios where the property is inherited.
ii. General warranty: This kind of deed is simply a legal document that proves the buyer's right to the property. It ensures that the seller is legit and accurate. Also, it's proof to show that there are no mortgages or outstanding loans and make it impossible for the seller to reclaim the property in the future.
iii. Special warranty: This is a type of deed where the seller or grantor only warrants against further claims by a third party after selling to the grantee.
iv. Grant deed: This is a legal instrument written to indicate the transfer of property on real estate from the grantor to the grantee.
v. Deed of trust: This is a document that transfers the title of a property to a third party until repayment of debt is made between the owner and lender.
Where to Search Public Property Records in Tennessee
Tennessee residents may obtain public property records from custodian agencies in the jurisdiction where the property is located. In Tennessee, these records are typically under the County Registrar's purview. Hence, requesters may visit the local county court and query the County Register's office or access the records from the Local Tax Assessor's office, i.e., if the record of interest is a property tax record.
How to Do a Tennessee Property Record Search
According to the Tennessee public records act, residents are statutorily entitled to access property records. However, for requesters to obtain California property records, they must have the following information:
- The property's address, street name, and house number.
- The owner's full name and personal information
Individuals that need to do a Tennessee property record may visit their Registrar of Deeds office or use the online options (if available in the county).
For instance, Davidson county residents can obtain copies of property from the Nashville County Register of Deeds office. The office is located at the following address:
Register of Deeds
Nashville, TN 37203
Register of Deeds Mailing Address
P.O. Box 196398
Nashville, TN 37219-6398
How to Find the Owner of a Tennessee Property Using Public Records
To know the exact owners of a property using public records, inquirers may query the office of the applicable Register of Deeds with the property's address. These requests may be made in person or via mail. Otherwise, the requester may consider using any online resources maintained by record custodians in the judicial district, including circuit court clerks, auditors, assessors, and others that may apply.
What are Tennessee Property Records Used For?
In Tennessee, property records are used to acquire the necessary information on a property. The following are reasons why property records are helpful:
- Proof of ownership: Property records are essential because they are used to prove that a person is a real property owner. They help to ensure that a person has legal rights and access to his property.
- Protection of property: Once there is proof of ownership, anyone cannot easily claim the property. Property records are used to set boundaries to avoid disputes.
- Property records help buyers acquire necessary information (like mortgages, unpaid loans, etc.) on a property before payment. People who wish to buy a certain property must have some necessary information about the property before making a commitment.
- Property records are used to resolve issues related to inheritance, property sharing, wills, etc.
- They can also be used for investigation purposes or to find hidden information. For example, to get information on where an individual once lived.
- Property records help buyers and sellers estimate a property's current value.
How to Find Tennessee Property Tax Records
Interested persons can assess a property's tax history by visiting the Tennessee property Assessment data web page. All that is required is for the user to select a county and insert any of this information; Property address, the owner's name, or parcel I.D. Users are also expected to use at least three characters for the search. So, include the street name and number in the address.
What to Do When You Can't Find the Property Records
Persons experiencing difficulty finding property records may consider one of the following alternatives.
- They may contact a local county recorder's office. County recorders are responsible for maintaining records of real estate transactions within their jurisdiction and can provide information regarding property ownership and previous deeds.
- They may visit the website of their local government or city to view publicly available records. Additionally, private companies such as title companies often have access to documents related to property transfers.
- They can check with the state land registry office or department of public works to obtain information on registered properties and current ownerships. In some cases, these offices may also provide additional resources that could prove helpful in researching property records.